Breastfeeding: The Norm of Infant Feeding
Breastfeeding is the process of feeding a mother's milk to her infant, either from the breast or expressed and given another way. The NCHD WIC program recognizes breastfeeding as the ideal nutrition for infants and children. Through breastfeeding promotion, education, and support to health care providers, WIC staff, and the community, the NCHD is working to normalize the natural form of infant feeding. Breastfeeding support is available to all in the community.
Some benefits for the baby include:
specialized nutrition based on the baby's age and development needs
improved immune health based on the baby and mom's exposures
promotion of optimal physical and emotional development
protective effect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
Some benefits for the mom include:
lower risk of reproductive cancers, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes
lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
faster recovery from pregnancy and delivery
increased physical and emotional bonding with the baby
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continuing to fully breastfeed for 2 years and beyond with complementary foods.
Breast Pump Rentals and WIC Breastfeeding Service
Electric hand pumps are available to women on the WIC Program for free rental by appointment only. A demonstration of how to use and clean the pump will be given at pump pick-up, as well as information on pumping and milk supply.
NCHD WIC participates in the WIC Peer Counselor Program and is a Breastfeeding Friendly WIC Clinic. The Peer Counselor is a mom who used to be on WIC and who provides breastfeeding education and support throughout pregnancy and postpartum. A breastfeeding warm-line is available for WIC clients.
The NCHD and NCHD WIC Program would like to make sure that the community partners who support breastfeeding employees, shoppers/clients, and students are properly recognized. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services with the Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition offers a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program and a Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Program which honors businesses and child care facilities that support breastfeeding. These programs recognize businesses through an award for their commitment to the health of babies and moms. These businesses are also honored on an online list of Breastfeeding Friendly Worksites. This award would be an excellent addition to worksite benefits and job postings.
Obtaining a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite award would also help to ensure that your business is compliant with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act. The PWFA ensures that pregnant and postpartum women have the accommodations needed without discrimination or retaliation. The PUMP Act requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space for lactating employees to pump or express milk during the workday.
Reach out to the NCHD WIC department or see the links below for more information and assistance in meeting award criteria. Join the NCHD in earning Gold!